4 Syracuse Students Suspended, 1 Arrested in Fallout from Alleged Racist Incidents

In addition to the students' suspension, the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity was reportedly expelled from campus

Four students were suspended after a number of alleged racist incidents were recently reported on Syracuse University’s campus, officials announced.

Since Nov. 7, at least 11 hate crimes or bias incidents have been reported on or near the New York school, according to the Daily Orange.

One student was also arrested, according to the Syracuse Police Department.

“Police identified the suspect in connection with four incidents of graffiti in and around the Irving Garage and Bird Library,” the Syracuse P.D. announced in a press release Thursday.

It’s unclear what kind of graffiti the arrested student allegedly posted, but Syracuse.com reports that it “appears to be in support of campus protests against a series of racist incidents.”

In its statement, Syracuse P.D. said the Department of Public Safety was investigating four recently reported “bias incidents.” Two of the incidents allegedly involved racist graffiti using “language derogatory to African Americans,” while the other graffiti incidents allegedly used derogatory words against Asian Americans and Native Americans.

News of the four students’ suspension was announced Wednesday evening during a public address by school Chancellor Kent Syverud.

In the briefing, Syverud detailed alleged racist verbal attacks as well as a number of other campus instances of alleged racist and anti-Semitic attacks, according to footage.

Syverud said one of the verbal incidents happened Saturday night when 14 people leaving an Alpha Chi Rho fraternity party allegedly hurled a racial slur at one of the university’s female African American students.

He said four of the students involved in the incident were Syracuse students. The other 10 students were “referred for appropriate discipline, including at the schools they attend,” Syverud noted.

According to the NY Daily News, the four Syracuse students allegedly called the African American student “the N-word.”

In addition to the students’ suspension, the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity has reportedly been expelled from campus, according to the Daily Orange. All activities of the school’s other campus fraternities were also halted.

“The entire case has also been referred to the Onondaga County District Attorney. The New York State Police’s Hate Crimes Task Force has been partnering with us and we’re working with the New York State Division of Human Rights on this matter,” Syverud added.

Syracuse University
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During his address, Syverud spoke out about how connected he felt to the incidents.

“I spent six years of my life publicly fighting to permit affirmative action in higher education admission based on race, leading to the Supreme Court’s decision. I did this while raising a mixed-race family in the South.”

“My kids were threatened … my wife was subjected to many racial epithets,” he said, adding, “That was then, that was the South… But this is Syracuse. This is 2019. I do not accept this hatred here and now, this is not who Syracuse is at its best, and is not who we can let ourselves become.”

He continued, “We just cannot let our students of color, our Jewish students, our Asian students, or any of our students, or faculty and staff, be afraid on this campus because of who they are.”

In response to the multiple alleged hate crimes on campus, Syverud also announced Thursday that he met with a group of students to discuss recommendations he received from international students and students who were peacefully protesting.

He said he planned to implement some of the students’ suggestions, stating, “Implementing these recommendations is the right thing to do. They will make our community stronger.”

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